Donny McCaslin Group
Bowie's Blackstar Band
- Wednesday, Feb 28, 2018
BOX OFFICE 612-332-5299
The band is:
Donny McCaslin (Sax)
Jason Linder (Keyboard)
Nate Wood (Drums)
Jonathan Maron (Bass)
About Donny McCaslin Group
Donny McCaslin is the leading saxophonist, composer, and musical pioneer of his generation, receiving wide commercial and critical acclaim in jazz, rock and electronica circles alike. With 12 albums to his name, McCaslin is best known for his collaboration and friendship with the late David Bowie, who tasked McCaslin to work hand-in-hand on his final album, Blackstar.
While many have discovered McCaslin for the first time since the release of Blackstar and Beyond Now, his prominent career is over 25 years in the making.
Raised in Santa Cruz, California, McCaslin attended Berklee College of Music, where he would go on to join the iconic NEA Jazz Master Gary Burton’s Quintet as a senior. Moving to New York in 1991, he quickly made a name for himself as a first-call soloist and touring musician, working with Maria Schneider, Dave Douglas, Danilo Perez, Brian Blade, Gil Evans project, Steps Ahead, and many others.
However the definitive path to Bowie and Beyond Now can be traced back to 2011, when McCaslin released Perpetual Motion, taking an electric direction for the first time. He soon assembled the core members of his working band, known as the Donny McCaslin Group: Jason Lindner (Now Vs Now) on keyboards, Tim Lefebvre (Tedeschi Trucks Band, Saturday Night Live) on electric bass, and drummer Mark Guiliana (Meshell Ndegeocello, Brad Mehldau), all of whom were featured on Blackstar. It was clear that McCaslin was cementing a new improvisatory style of music with his passion for electronica, EDM, funk, dub, and jazz.
This thrust an unknown band into the spotlight, forever branded McCaslin and company as “David Bowie’s Last Band.” Almost exactly three months after Bowie’s death on January 10th, McCaslin’s band entered the recording studio in Brooklyn and made their third full album as a working band. The result is Beyond Now, which documents “the last [Bowie] band” as they were processing both their grief and Bowie’s distinctive impact.
Beyond Now‘s repertoire is expansive, comprised of two Bowie songs, covers of Deadmau5, Mutemath, and the Chainsmokers, as well as compelling McCaslin originals including the title composition, inspired by a track inspired by a song McCaslin recorded for Blackstar that didn’t make the album.
As much as it is hard to be Bowie’s band and not talk about being Bowie’s band, there’s a reason Bowie picked McCaslin, a narrative already in place almost five years prior. And that’s a traditional jazz quartet that has been playing with various strategies taken from electronic music, or found in electronic music, more accurately, and then spirited back across their own border.